The Cowboys are now into their annual offseason minicamp, and head coach Mike McCarthy is updating everyone on how the team is progressing. Below is a paraphrased recap of the question and answers.
Resources for players between minicamp and training camp
Mike McCarthy noted that the Cowboys will always be in touch with the players, including during the time between minicamp and training camp. He talked about how given the climate that we are all currently in that things are still fluid.
Minicamp concludes tomorrow
In case there was any confusion, Mike McCarthy noted that minicamp concludes on Thursday and that rookie school will be next week. The rookies will be at the Star Monday through Friday.
McCarthy noted that while Pollard has been seeing snaps at wide receiver due to the injuries at that position at the moment that it has been a purposeful endeavor this year to create more opportunities for him to have the football in his hands given his unique abilities.
The plan is for Oxnard
While things are yet to be officially determined, McCarthy noted that he is planning for the Cowboys to hold training camp in Oxnard, California. All NFL teams have to receive approval from the league if they are going to hold camp somewhere other than their team headquarters, but McCarthy reiterated that his current outlook is as if Oxnard is going to happen.
McCarthy noted that safety Donovan Wilson had “a slight injury” but that he is doing well. The head coach added that he sees Wilson being an impact player on defense and that they are just being smart and overly cautious with him right now.
Brent Urban is “the big brother” in the room
Asked about new defensive lineman Brent Urban, McCarthy noted that he loves his personality and work ethic. He said that Urabn is a great fit and is the big brother in the defensive position room with all the young players. He noted that he and Will McClay were watching individual drills before today’s press conference and Urban was someone they discussed as a great signing for the team
Connections between players
Micah Parsons spoke on Tuesday about the connection that he and DeMarcus Lawrence are forming over pass-rushing techniques. Mike McCarthy said that he loves to see players bonding like this, particularly between veterans and young players. He noted that sometimes players are more receptive to taking instruction from other players more than they will from coaches.
The difference between last year and this year
Mike McCarthy noted that they are not even in the same space this year that they were last year and that overall things are far much further along. He said that he generally compares this offseason to ones from earlier in his career given the unique trials of 2020 and that the team’s learning environment this year is clearly better than it was last.
Amari Cooper injury
Mike McCarthy was asked about Amari Cooper not participating to this point and he noted that injuries are a part of the game and that they give other people opportunities to shine and show off. He said they have had six receivers who have been out and that has allowed Tony Pollard some opportunities.
He noted that Cooper has the ankle issue that he’s working through and that he won’t participate through the rest of minicamp and that he is hopeful that Cooper will be ready for training camp.
Randy Gregory’s comments about wanting more playing time
In speaking with the media on Tuesday defensive end Randy Gregory noted that he was vocal last season about wanting more playing time. McCarthy said that he likes the path that Gregory is on and that based on pure performance that he obviously plans on playing him more. He noted that Gregory has been there every day, looks great, but that he didn’t even know him at this time last year. He said that they are expecting big things from him.
Players being inspired by Dak Prescott
A number of Cowboys players have said that the way that Dak Prescott has approached his rehab has been inspiriting in their own quests to get back onto the football field. McCarthy noted that Dak’s leadership is difficult to quantify and that he is just “real”. He said he is as real of a person that he has been fortunate enough to work with throughout his career. He added that in his view this is Dak’s team, that he is the face of the locker room, and that Dak is the player who he wants to lean on the most.